The BJP Friday attacked the Congress for developing “cold feet” and not naming Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate, saying it showed the party has conceded defeat in the coming Lok Sabha election.
As Bharatiya Janata Party leaders met here parallel to the Congress session, speeches of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi came for scrutiny — as were “parties working on Congress’ support”.
Party leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain took a jibe at the ruling party: “The Congress is prepared for defeat while there is an atmosphere of enthusiasm in the BJP camp. The gloom at the Congress meet was visible.”
Arun Jaitley, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the Congress had developed a “cold feet” vis-a-vis Rahul Gandhi because of the “prospect of defeat” in the Lok Sabha battle.
“It is the prospect of defeat … which is responsible for the reluctance to announce Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate.
“The nervousness is palpable now. Why puncture your only card in an adverse political environment? There is no fire in the belly left to fight adversity,” Jaitley said.
The BJP’s national executive discussed a slew of issues, framing the political and economic resolutions to be adopted by the national council Saturday and Sunday.
Without naming Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a party leader said the BJP discussed “parties walking on the corrupt crutches of the Congress”.
Issues of terrorism, communal riots in Uttar Pradesh and “vote bank politics” were also discussed.
The three-day gathering of party leaders is focusing on achieving the BJP’s target of winning more than 272 Lok Sabha seats.
Talking to reporters, party leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said “good governance” will be the BJP agenda.
He said the BJP will caution people against the Congress and its allies.
“We won’t let people get trapped in their conspiracy. They are using another party as a shield to corner the BJP,” he said, without naming any party.
Speaking earlier, BJP president Rajnath Singh said the Congress was trying every trick to keep the BJP from coming to power.
“The Congress can see the writing on the wall and knows that defeat is writ large there… It is making every effort to stop the BJP’s march to success,” spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, quoting Rajnath Singh.
Rajnath Singh, however, avoided the expression “aam aadmi” and used the term “aam insaan” to describe the common man.
The BJP also discussed the India-US row over the arrest of Indian diplomat Devayani Khobragade, the plight of Pakistani Hindus, and attacks on Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen.
Economic and political resolutions framed by the national executive will be discussed and passed in the two day long national council meet Saturday and Sunday.